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During puberty, you will notice several changes in your body. Unfortunately, you will also notice plenty of unwanted hair growth. This hair can be embarrassing, and it is a pain to remove.
You may think your body hair will get less noticeable over time, but women actually grow more hair as they age. Fortunately, laser hair removal treatments offer a permanent solution to unwanted body hair. Starting treatment early can keep you from wasting time plucking, waxing, and shaving during your teen years.
Just how early can you start? This article will help guide teens and their parents on a safe time to begin laser hair removal.
What Age Can You Get Laser Hair Removal?
This is a question that we hear often. Whether you play competitive sports or just want to feel confident in your daily attire, knowing when it is safe to start treatment is crucial. Fortunately, you can start laser treatments at any age as long as your parents agree. However, most dermatologists recommend that female patients wait until they start their menstrual cycle before beginning laser treatment. For some, this may start at age 10 or even age 16. Regardless, this is an important indicator of when female patients can safely begin treatment. Additionally, for best results, women’s hormones should be stable. Do not that you should not pursue laser hair treatments if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe for Teens?
Laser hair removal is safe for teens as long as it is done by a provider who is certified in the treatment. If you are considering laser treatments for your teen, discuss the provider’s level of experience and credentials. Ensure that your teen is properly cleared for treatment by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant prior to starting treatments, as we always do at Dermacare of Hampton Roads. Additionally, teens are not always the most responsible when it comes to skincare, so parents need to supervise their aftercare regimen. Otherwise, your teen may experience side effects.
What Are the Dangers of Laser Hair Removal?
If a trained professional administers the treatment, laser hair removal is very safe. Proper training is required to ensure the laser light does not damage the skin in the treatment areas. If not used appropriately, the laser can burn delicate areas like the upper lip, face, underarms, and bikini area.
Keep in mind that Virginia state law says laser therapy can only be conducted by a trained person working under the supervision of a medical doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. This regulation is in place to ensure this type of permanent hair reduction remains safe for people of all ages.
What Is the Best Age For Laser Hair Removal?
There is no right age for laser therapy for hair removal. Consider the pros and cons of having the treatment done early in life or in your golden years.
Laser Hair Removal For Teenagers
Teenagers experience significant hormonal changes that cause many bodily changes, including hair growth. Because hormones fluctuate so rapidly, laser hair treatment may yield only temporary results during the early teenage years. Once hormones have regulated — usually around the age of 18 — you can expect permanent hair reduction through laser removal.
If your teen has excess hair growth, especially on her face, you should see a medical doctor before getting laser treatments. This hair can be a symptom of PCOS, an endocrine disorder that sometimes develops around the time a girl begins puberty.
Laser Hair Removal For Young Adults
While unwanted hair is embarrassing for teens, it is especially problematic for young women who don’t have as much time to spend removing it. Depilatory creams, waxing, and electrolysis all take time, and they can be painful. Shaving is quicker but results in razor burn and unattractive shaving bumps. That is why your late teens and early 20s are the perfect time to invest in permanent hair removal.
Laser Hair Removal After Menopause
Just as hormones can cause hair growth during puberty, they can also impact the amount of hair you have after menopause. You may start noticing occasional dark hairs on your face, especially your chin. It may seem simple to pull them out with tweezers, but menopause also changes your skin. It becomes much more delicate after the age of 50. Since your skin is fragile, you are more likely to experience negative side effects from common hair removal methods like waxing or plucking.
Many women turn to laser hair removal after menopause because it is safer for fragile skin. However, there is an important caveat. You must have treatment before the hairs turn gray. Otherwise, the hair follicle will not absorb the heat from the laser light. Therefore, if you notice some dark hairs on your face, it is important to schedule an appointment quickly.
How Many Sessions are Required for Laser Hair Removal?
Hair grows in three cycles. Laser hair removal is only effective during the first growth cycle. That’s when the dark hair follicles will absorb heat from the laser. This damages the follicle, making it unable to grow more hair. However, your follicles are always in different stages of hair growth. During a laser therapy session, you can expect about 20% of your follicles to be affected. You will need additional sessions to ensure other follicles are treated when they are in the right growth cycle.
Most people need between four and six sessions, scheduled about six weeks apart.
Your skin tone and the color, texture, and location of your hair will determine how many sessions you’ll require. You may also need annual touch-up sessions.
Does Laser Hair Removal Have Side Effects?
Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to permanently remove hair. There are no long-term risks to your health. You may have minor side effects in the treatment area, such as:
- Minor skin irritation
- Pigmentation changes
Following treatment, your skin may feel similar to a minor sunburn, but the discomfort is usually very mild. If you’re concerned, consider having a small area treated first to see how your skin will react to treatment.
Does Laser Hair Removal Last Forever?
Yes, the treatment is the only permanent hair removal solution available today. It inhibits existing follicles from producing new hairs. However, new follicles can pop up as you age, so you may need occasional touch-up treatments to address new growth.
Is Laser Hair Removal Worth It?
Ask anyone who has had laser treatment, and they will tell you it is absolutely worth it. If word of mouth isn’t enough, consider these facts.
Laser Hair Removal Saves You Money
Over the course of your lifetime, you’ll spend $10,207 on shaving products or $23,000 on waxing. The average cost of laser removal is $3,000. It doesn’t take a math genius to see which is the better bargain.
Laser Hair Removal Is Less Time-Consuming Than Other Hair Removal Methods
Removing hair by shaving and waxing is not only an investment of money, but it takes time as well. In a lifetime, you’ll spend 1,402 hours shaving or 482 hours waxing. Laser therapy requires an average of 12 hours for a complete treatment. Are you still unsure about laser hair removal?
Laser Hair Removal Makes You More Confident
Finally, no matter your age, unwanted hair impacts your confidence. For teens though, noticeable body hair can reduce their self-esteem significantly. By removing it with laser therapy, teens will feel more self-assured and confident during a time in their lives when these emotions are in short supply. Laser hair removal costs less time, money, and emotional labor than traditional hair removal methods.
Your Laser Hair Removal Questions, Answered!
Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?
No, laser therapy does not cause cancer. The laser uses non-ionizing energy, so there’s absolutely no risk of skin cancer. Additionally, the laser does not penetrate further than the second layer of your skin, called the dermis.
What Areas Can Laser Hair Removal Treat?
Laser therapy can be used on virtually any part of your body. The legs, back, face, underarms, bikini line, arms, and chest are popular areas. Some men have the treatment to thin out a thick beard, reducing the risk of razor burn.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
Most people say laser therapy is not painful. It can cause some stinging, tingling, and soreness after the treatment is complete. Your skin may feel like it has a slight sunburn, but this discomfort is temporary.
At Dermacare of Hampton Roads, we use the Sciton BareHR laser. It offers extremely fast and almost pain-free treatment, even without topical anesthetic. If you’ve been afraid to try laser removal elsewhere, you’re a great candidate for treatment with the Sciton BareHR.
What Aftercare Is Required For Laser Hair Removal?
Your technician will give you specific aftercare instructions, but most people should follow these guidelines.
- Protect your skin from the sun for a couple of weeks after treatment. Wear sunscreen anytime you’ll be in the sun for longer than a few minutes.
- Use over-the-counter or prescription creams provided by your dermatologist.
- Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or cold washcloth if you feel any discomfort in your skin.
- Avoid scented lotions, deodorants, and body scrubs until your skin completely heals.
- Do not use a tanning bed for two weeks after treatment. Sunless tanner is safe to use 48 hours after treatment.
- Do not shave or wax if the treated area is swollen or red.
Laser therapy is safe for skin of any age and an effective way to permanently remove unwanted hair. Make an appointment today and take the first step to smooth, healthy skin with Dermacare of Hampton Roads.
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